Healing through Storytelling

We are all storied. Some we tell and some we hide. Through storytelling we can create more healing

There are stories of our birth and our childhood, our first date, our first love. There are, for many of us, stories of separations, our first (or many) experiences with rejection, broken heartedness, failure, disappointment, loss of friends and family, trauma.

We also have our great stories of personal victory, surprises, accomplishments, travel, breakthrough in what Gibran called ‘…the breaking of our shell of understanding,” in his work The Prophet.

Sometimes these stories are inspiring and motivating,

At other times they are challenging and/or alienating. We may even use them to weed out people in that endless struggle to know who we can trust with our time and our hearts. Some we tell and some we hide….. We are all on a journey and the stories we keep are our conscious record of where we have been and where we might go. Of how and why and where we made decision X or took the U turn and headed back home or left a marriage, a friendship, a job.

We invest in our stories. They tell us who we are and how we came to be ourselves, as well as where we believe we belong. And what we believe we deserve to get and experience on our journey. Our stories can justify us and block us. They may be seen as chapters in the unending novel of our being. In turn, they may become blocks in the locked tower where we protect ourselves from what has hurt us in the past.

When we tell them we move them from the past to the present. This is where we can re-experience the joy of discovery, the ‘agony of defeat’ as well as the wonder and disbelief of unexpected turns in our journey. And it is here, in the troubled waters of our hidden story, that we are confronted with our unresolved issues.

When we tell these hidden stories,

We may or may not break a taboo or reveal a traumatic experience. And we do move blocked energy out of our unconscious mind to our conscious mind. In doing so we unlock our own narrative. Now our narrative is free and present and it can take us down our growth path from past to present.

This ‘unlocking’ of hidden stories brings a light of recognition and conscious
knowing to our wholeness.

It restores self esteem and strengthens our self-acceptance. We reclaim parts of ourselves as well as the energy we used to keep these parts hidden. These stories may be narratives that we have either packed away in a dark place to avoid exposure or they have been hidden purposely (suppressed) to protect others from the truth of our own experiences. And, sadly, sometimes, they just got lost from our own easy access (repressed). Because at the core of the story there was too much pain to handle or cope.

Our great brain knew that

And in defense it protected us by shutting off our awareness/memory until we were ready to release its hold on u
We invest in our stories. We identify with them. They are part of us and so they shape our identity and expression. They define who we are at home and who we are in the world. Irony, humor, tragedy, falls from grace, hard climbs back up an immovable mountain of loss, grief or pain, rescues, sacred and mundane gifts– all are characters in our growing story narrative. All are intimately part of who we are, how we are and what we tell the world that it can expect from us.

Even our beliefs are inspired by a storied experience that we have stored away in a box we casually name ‘the right way for me’ to think, to be, to act. We are who we are because of our stories and the stories we choose to believe.


  • What was your favorite story growing up?
  • Is there a story you love to tell to new friends at parties?
  • What story do you only tell people you trust?
  • Is there a story you use to hurt yourself?
  • Or one you cannot tell because it make you too vulnerable?

In my story

I have many parts and those parts have many stories of their own. I have gone through a number of life transitions and My identities include ‘a late bloomer’, a wounded healer, a feminist organizer, a poet/writer, a Near-Death Survivor, a Reiki Master Teacher, a medium, a great cook, a metaphysician, and, obviously, a list-maker with many more internal narrators. Presently, I am now a Licensed Professional Counselor working to empower people from within.

I believe in growth and transformation. That given the appropriate support, most of us can find our way. I am devoted to helping us all become who we want to be. I practice imagining the next story I would like to live, and someday tell. And as I write that I am laughing because there was a time when I could not use I in a sentence at all.

Upcoming Narrative Therapy Group:

There will be an upcoming group of 6-9 people who will commit to 12 weeks, weekly at night. We will decide as a group the day and time that works best.

As a participant in this group, you will be asked to tell your story during our first few weeks (Phase one). Then you will create your new narrative. This will be the story that you not only want to tell but also the one you want to live from then on(Phase 2.) You will be expected to honor other participants by respecting their privacy as well as their personal health and safety needs and privacy.

Group healing can be expansive and create a wonderful community for those involved.

If you are interested please contact Karen as: karen@empowermentwithinllc.com

Karen Snider, LPC
Psychotherapist at Empowerment Within LLC

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